This weekend (Sept 13-16), the Green Party of England and Wales made history by joining the US Green Party in calling for an end to the private creation of money by banks. After a debate on the motion at the Autumn Conference in Brighton, the Green Party has collectively decided to instead place this power with a democratically accountable National Monetary Authority at the Bank of England. This represents a huge change in Green Party policy, as we are now calling for full reserve banking, alongside other radical policies such as a citizens income, land value tax and of course the decarbonisation of the entire economy as we move to a post carbon world.
The passing of the Monetary and Banking Reform Composite Motion follows many years of campaigning within the party by members concerned about the private creation of money. A group of these campaigners, joined under the banner of the Green Party Monetary Reform Working Group, have been tirelessly working to educate and raise awareness about the private creation of money. This has involved the passing of motions to recognise this, regular stalls at conference to distribute leaflets, and of course talking with other members about all the issues that Positive Money also campaigns on.
Despite the former leader and first Green MP, Caroline Lucas, supporting the Positive Money campaign, it was a difficult debate. A wrecking amendment had been submitted, calling for the full reserve banking motion to be deleted and replaced with a motion calling for the public control of banks (which is already Green Party policy). Without ending the debt-based fractional reserve banking system, we can never move away from an economic system that has inequality and unsustainable growth built into it. Thankfully the wrecking amendment fell and the motion was passed unchanged.
However, just like Brighton represents a beachhead for the Green Party, so too does this motion represent merely a foothold for supporters of full reserve banking within the party. I can understand that many members of the public are disillusioned with party politics and keen to stay outside of it. But the Green Party conference is unique in UK politics in that all the party’s policies are debated and passed there by a democratic vote by members. There is still the chance that what was achieved in Brighton could be undone. So I would implore anyone reading this, who is committed to environmental and social justice, and who seriously wants to end the debt-based money system, to join the Green Party today by clicking on this link. Yearly membership is as cheap as £5 a year for students, and £10.50 for anyone not working full-time. If you do join, and support monetary reform, then please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to continue to campaign within the party and build support for these policies.
This is a historic week for the Green Party. I hope that soon other political parties will follow suit, and we will soon end the crazy banking system we have to put up with today.